The Medway Queen was launched in 1924 and entered service on Thames estuary routes in May of that year. She was requisitioned for the Royal Navy in 1939 and converted for mine-sweeping. In 1940 HMS Medway Queen joined the 10th Mine-sweeping Flotilla based in Dover.The 10th Flotilla played a key part in 'Operation Dynamo' (the evacuation of Dunkirk) in May-June 1940. Medway Queen and her crew made seven return trips across the channel to bring the men home. The ship's crew estimated that they evacuated 7,000 men while shooting down three Axis aircraft. HMS Medway Queen remained an active minesweeper until late 1943 when she became an accommodation ship for a few months. In April 1944 she was recommissioned and attached to the mine-sweeping training base at Granton.
After the war she returned to her old route until 1963. From 1966 until 1974 she was a nightclub in the Isle of Wight. After damage to her hull the ship was returned to the river Medway in 1984 on a pontoon and the hull rebuilt with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. The ship now resides on the Medway at Gillingham pier.
The Medway Queen is currently in Ramsgate harbour awaiting a turn on the slipway for some mainteneance work and should follow Te Vega that I reported on the other day.